How Preventative Dental Care Helps Overall Wellness
Your oral health and overall health go hand-in-hand. Preventative dental care is in place to help educate patients on how to best care for their mouth to prevent potential problems from arising. If left untreated, some dental problems can harm your overall health. Here is how your oral health and overall health talk to each other — and the action you can take for a healthier mouth today!
The Connection Between Dental and Overall Health
Your mouth is such a small area in comparison to the rest of your body, so does it really play a role in your overall wellness? In short, yes! Your oral health can affect your overall health, and vice versa.
Your mouth is full of bacteria, most of which doesn’t harm you at all. When you brush daily and have good oral hygiene, you help keep the bacteria under control. If you don’t have a good oral hygiene routine, then bacteria can build up and cause serious problems, like tooth decay and periodontitis.
Sometimes, the medications you are prescribed for other health conditions can affect your mouth. For example, medications like decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics, and antidepressants can reduce saliva flow, according to Mayo Clinic. When your mouth doesn’t make enough saliva, it can’t protect you as well from microbes and other bacteria that have the potential to cause disease and make you sick.
Effects on Health
Mayo Clinic also notes that conditions like HIV/AIDS can lower your body’s resistance to infection, which means problems like gum disease can be much more severe. Other conditions that can lead to oral health problems, include:
- Diabetes: which can cause more frequent bouts of gum disease.
- Osteoporosis: which is a bone-weakening disease that can lead to periodontal bone and tooth loss.
- Alzheimer’s: patients who have Alzheimer’s disease can have worsening oral health as the disease progresses.
If you don’t have good oral hygiene, they note, you could be susceptible to the following health conditions:
- Endocarditis: where the inner lining of your heart chambers or valves become infected, which occurs when bacteria and other germs from other parts of your body, like your mouth, spread and attach to areas in your heart.
- Cardiovascular disease: research suggests that heart disease and stroke could be linked to infections that come along with oral bacteria.
- Pregnancy and birth complications: women are more susceptible to gum disease when pregnant. Gum disease has been known to cause premature birth and low birth weight.
- Pneumonia: when bacteria from your mouth pulls into your lungs, pneumonia and other diseases could attack the body.
Maintaining good oral health care and seeing your dentist regularly is what preventative dentistry is all about. Colgate defines preventative dentistry as oral care that involves education, treatment, and practice of maintaining your teeth and gums. You can begin having preventative dental care at any age, and the treatments can vary based on your individual needs. A dental exam itself is a main point of prevention, as the dentist can catch early signs of oral problems that could be occurring where your eyes can’t see. The purpose of preventative dentistry is to help stop and treat common dental problems, like gum disease, sensitivity, cavities, and more. When these problematic conditions are caught early, you’re far less likely to suffer from long term side effects of these ailments.
Preventative dental care is also very important for children, too. Having regular thorough cleanings by a dentist can help children keep their plaque buildup at bay. Additionally, it can also make them more likely to not have major dental problems as they grow older. Eventually, many children will need orthodontic care, and preventative dentistry works to make sure there’s a seamless transition into and out of braces for a lifetime of healthy smiles!
Make an Appointment with Dr. Ania
The goal of preventative dental care is to make sure larger problems don’t arise. Conditions like gum disease, cavities, and more can sneak up on you before you know it — even if you’re brushing and flossing each day. If you need help taking charge of your dental health, call Dr. Ania. We pride ourselves in making sure your appointment is specific to you and what your needs are. Your cleanings are a big part of preventative dentistry, which can help prevent oral health problems from causing even more serious general health concerns. When you’re aware that your oral health plays a role in more areas of your life than just your mouth, then you can take charge of your wellness. Call today for an appointment to get going on your preventative care: (303)-872-9940.